Miscellaneous every day stuff

I have knee surgery coming up and I can’t say I’m particularly looking forward to it. I suppose there would be something wrong with me if I were. šŸ™‚ My knee has been damaged most of my life and I’ve put it off as long as I can, but it’s gotten to where I can barely walk any more. There are three bones that need to be removed, and then there’s a jagged spur that needs to be sawed off and filed down. My tendon goes across this spur and is partially torn from it. I’ve had a giant lump on my knee where it necrotized around the dead bone, so after surgery that lump should be greatly diminished. Since I hurt it when I was 12, I’m not sure what it’s like to not have the alien knee thing going on. I say alien, because of the Charlie Sheen movie “The Arrival”. If you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about. An ex came up with that comparison and I found it funny so it stuck.

I had hoped to get this done with during the worst of summer when I can’t step out the door without immediately being drenched anyway. However, it’s scheduled for the third week of September when it should almost be getting liveable out there. Oh well.. that’s how it goes I suppose. The annual comic con is coming up and I’d love to go to that, but I wouldn’t be able to walk around and I have no one to go with anyway. So since I’m pretty much stuck here, I’ve been doing some organizing around the house, and spending more time online. I discovered product testing for reviews on Amazon. That’s been fun so far.. I’m getting loads of stuff for free or cheap and it gives me a chance to try out things I normally wouldn’t spend the money on. I’ve been getting mostly beauty products, because there are lots of them and it appeals to my girly side. There are other things as well, of course. So if anyone reading this wants to try it out, here’s a link to the best one: elitedealclub.com/?invcode=R9qqjWFl

I’ve also rediscovered pinterest. That started with a place to save tattoo designs I was interested in, but of course I’m saving other stuff too. I love old photos, and I’ve amassed quite a collection so far. Some of them I think will be good to inspire writing. I love the Old West photos, gypsies, Native Americans, Ziegfeld girls, Victorian and Edwardian people in general, the Depression era, Storyville and prostitutes in general, and the occasional oddity, such as a woman riding a saddled ostrich. I also pin garden ideas for the garden I’ve always wanted to have, complete with gate and paths and lush flowers, and moss gardens, with moss sculptures and moss covered furniture. They’re beautiful. Of course it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have several boards of pinned literature, rare books and the like. I see how people get hooked on it. It’s not hard to do.

One of the boards is abandoned building and places. I’ve always had an affinity for them and I used to do quite a bit of urban exploring before I moved to South Carolina. In MD there were lots of old hospitals and the likeĀ  within driving distance. Here, not so much. There is one place I know of but it’s heavily guarded and is in the middle of the city, so not good for sneaking into. I’ve seen photos from some people who have made it, but I am in no condition to sneak or run, and again, I have no one to explore with anyway. B drove us to the old Holy Land park and Raven and I explored that one, but it was in pretty bad shape. When we were out west, R and I checked out several abandoned tourist traps along the old Route 66, and went to a couple of ghost towns. I liked to imagine the ghost towns how they once might have been, dusty and noisy, and with people on the streets. I can imagine the cowboys from my photos, the outlaws and ranchers, and the women, bothĀ  “soiled doves”, as they were known, and the more respectable ones. I think any woman who went out west during that time must have had at least some spirit of adventure. It was the wilds back then, the unknown where anything might happen. I wish we still had country like that now here in the states.

The Second Coming

THE SECOND COMING

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

~ W.B. Yeats

Disuse

I think imagination rusts when not used. The blade that carves worlds dulls, and boredom corrodes the metal. Our experiences are what hones it, and when life is a flat, invariable line of nothing, there is naught to sharpen against.

Stephen King says that if you do not read, you cannot write. Well, I read constantly. I devour books, but still I feel awkward when writing. The words are not flowing, but I’m trying. They used to come so easily…it was a way of pouring my pain onto paper. Now I’ve learned to keep everything bottled up inside and it calcifies my heart. I think my words are calcifying as well, so I am trying to make them malleable once again.

Little by little but not fast enough to suit me.

 

waterhouse176

Cecil and all the rest

“Whenever I see a photograph of some sportsman grinning over his kill, I am always impressed by the striking moral and aesthetic superiority of the dead animal to the live one.”
~ Edward Abbey

Starting with Cecil the lion, the plight of endangered species and trophy hunting has been in the news. By now everyone has heard of the dentist who lured a protected, tagged lion that was used to people and had no fear of them, out of his park with scent and meat. This sad little man then shot the lion with a bow and arrow, waited 40+ hours, and then finally slaughtered him, decapitating and skinning him. Cecil was this lion’s name and he was a well-known lion with a large pride and many cubs. He was a gorgeous specimen, with a regal black mane and intelligent eyes. He was 13 years old, and would walk right up to tourist’s vehicles. Now this slimy little dentist is being harassed. I truly, deeply hope that he is extradited for poaching. His non-apology is insulting. He apologizes that the lion he killed was a known favorite and part of a study, not that he killed it. He is only sorry that he got caught, and he will never understand the difference.

Lions were listed as proposed threatened last year, which basically means they are just waiting for the paperwork to go through to make it official. But you know, even if we had lions in abundance, I would still find it revolting. There is this beautiful, majestic creature with emotions and feelings. The so called hunter isn’t hungry and is certainly in no danger. No, he just wants to slaughter this creature so he can mount its head and show it off to his friends. I truly think he’s trying to make up for some inadequacies on his part. I also think that he is a sociopath lacking any empathy whatsoever. For this particular wealthy and privileged POS, not any lion will do. He wants the top specimen. The lion with the biggest, blackest mane, and damn the consequences. This person only received a slap on the wrist for his previous poaching charges, so I’m sure he thinks this is the same. I very much hope that is not the case.

I am very passionate about this. I am very pissed off and I am absolutely disgusted with the human race. I have waited a few days to write anything with the wisdom of knowing better than to spew the first things that come to mind. However, it seems I am still filled with rage. I am sick to death of “Why don’t you get this upset about “insert pet crusade here””, asĀ  I am perfectly capable of debating more than one issue at a time.

Then Zimbabwe came out and said another doctor had done the same thing in April. I don’t know why they didn’t bring charges up in April, but either way, this is another disgusting little man with more money than empathy. I have always heard that doctors are one of the top professions for psychopaths, andĀ  I think there must be something to that. This particular POS has killed multiple elephants, antelope, zebra, caracal, leopards and just about every other creature in Africa. Poachers are disgusting life forms that need to be exterminated, and trophy hunting is no better. This barbaric practice should have been banned 100 years ago. Elephants… I don’t even know what to say. The elephants really get to me. I’ve read he’s killed six of them. Elephants are intelligent, emotional creatures with tight knit relationships and a strong sense of altruism. These things are widely known… I’m not saying anything radical here. It’s just a fact. But it is another species, so we slaughter them. I often think better of these other species than I do of my own.

Both of these ‘great white hunters’ are now being harassed and have gone into hiding. Good. I hope they lose their practices. Perhaps that will dissuade others from the slaughter of the world’s wildlife. It’s disappearing quickly. I visited Kenya long ago, and it was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever gone. The great plains with grazing herds of wildebeest and zebra, wandering families of elephants and giraffes, and prides of lions was magnificent. I have always wanted to return there, but the thought of those plains being empty is a sad one. I hope more African countries ban hunting their animals and instead protect them and build up a lucrative tourist industry.

 

Camping

They had hiked miles into the forest, deep into the cool dim green of the Blue Ridge mountains. Kayla’s father had set the tent up near a mountain stream and they hadn’t seen other people since leaving the trail that morning. A fire pit was built near the tent, backpacks were strung up in the trees and perishables submerged in the icy cold of the stream. That night as the adults sat around the fire, she heard her father say he was going to put meat out to attract the bears. She had seen bears before. large black lumbering shapes sometimes raiding the trash cans at the picnic areas, but she had never seen one up close. Kayla pictured herself befriending the bear, sinking her fingers into the thick fur to scratch behind its ears. The bear would carry her into the forest on his back and show her secret things. Her new friend would protect her, roaring his disapproval at her father’s dark temper. She wondered what the bear’s name was.

Kayla wiggled into a sleeping back in the tent for sleep. Her mother smoothed Kayla’s fine blonde hair back and kissed her forehead. She thought her mother was the most beautiful woman she had ever seen and was filled with a fierce, helpless love as she looked up at her. Her mother was unhappy sometimes and during those times nothing Kayla did could earn her mother’s smile. Today she had been happy and smiling though, so Kayla relaxed and fell asleep to the sound of night insects, cracking branches and the uneven drip of acorns hitting the tent.

She was pulled out of sleep suddenly. It was pitch black inside the tent and she was alone. Her head was pressed against the back wall of the tent, and she felt something moving on the other side of the orange fabric. There was a low snuffling sound only inches away, and Kayla felt something large outside the tent, pressing against her head. She froze, feeling it slowly slide across the top of her head. It seemed to take forever to pass while Kayla lay perfectly still, trying not to breathe. She heard odd groaning noises, and moving as quietly as she could, she squirmed her way out of the sleeping bag and crawled to the door of the tent. Whatever was out there was big, and she tried to quell the fear gibbering in her mind. She pushed one flap aside and saw her parents standing by the fire in the darkness. They were silent but her mother saw her and beckoned her near. There was a large black bear on the other side of the camp fire, just past the tent where Kayla had been sleeping. Her mother put her arm around her shoulders, and Kayla rested her head against her mother’s hip, watching the bear smelling the leaves. He seemed enormous to Kayla and his eyes mirrored the firelight.